BEARING FAITHFUL WITNESS
A Study Paper (1)
Preamble: Why this Paper?
- Because many of us grew up thinking that Jesus had invented the Last Supper;
- Because in our churches Jesus is rarely referred to as a Jew;
- Because there is rising anti-Judaism, antisemitism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism in Canada and other countries in the name of Jesus Christ;
- Because we are finally understanding that Christian denial of Jesus' Jewishness contributed to pogroms, the Holocaust, the refusal to admit refugees and other horrors against Jewish people;
- Because a Jewish friend visiting in our churches could feel attacked by some of our Scriptures and interpretation of them;
- Because there is little general knowledge of the context in which the Scriptures were written and edited, and Bible study is not a priority for most United Church adults;
- Because our language and interpretation of Scripture has not kept pace with our evolving faith;
- Because there is little reaction from the Christian community when synagogues and Jewish cemeteries are desecrated;
- Because there is a growing interest in exploring other faith traditions, and Christianity has a special relationship with Judaism;
- Because many of us make the erroneous assumption that, having read the Bible, we know much about Judaism, both historical and contemporary;
Therefore we believe it is time to throw open the questions:
- Is our handling of the Bible consistent with the faith of Jesus?
- Is our handling of the New Testament consciously reflective of Christianity's Jewish roots?
- Do our Sunday morning services bear false witness against our Jewish neighbours today?
Why This Paper?
A Look at Scripture
- The Relationship of the Two Testaments
- The Old Testament
- The New Testament
- The Gospel according to Matthew
- The Gospel according to Mark
- The Gospel according to Luke and Luke's Acts of the Apostles
- The Gospel according to John
- The Letters of Paul
- The Letter to the Hebrews
- Revelation or the Apocalypse
This study paper is part of a larger document of the United Church of Canada